Everyone at Bristol Manor Farm remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine. Our Manager Lee Lashenko has issued the following statement regarding the conflict, his late Ukrainian Father and how the club will support Ukraine in their crisis. 

Here at Bristol Manor Farm we know better than anybody about matters that can affect you massively away from football. When we received the regretful news prior to the Melksham match about our very own Geoff Sellek, we had to deal with that as a football club, as players and as Geoff’s family. 

The whole world right now is trying to comprehend the enforced disgraceful situation that Ukraine currently finds itself in. My late Father was Ukrainian, and his family grew up in a region now known as Donetsk. In the wake of the Second World War, my dad’s family were forced to leave Ukraine as their village became overran. We are talking about events that happened 75 years ago, and now we’re all trying to understand what’s happening at the moment in Ukraine which is extremely upsetting.  

Over the past couple of years we had to live without football and seeing our loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the events in Ukraine right now brings everything into perspective. One of the biggest things that dad always told me was you can choose how to live your life, but you can never take your life and health for granted. 

From the point of view from our club, we all want to help Ukraine and its people. In my village in Chew Stoke we have donated food, medical and domestic supplies from 3-6 today, and as a club we will continue to do this regularly. At Saturday’s match against Slimbridge the players and coaches of Bristol Manor Farm will be wearing yellow and blue armbands to support Ukraine amidst the crisis engulfing their proud country. Just after my Father passed away, the Farmy Army supporters presented me with a Ukrainian-Bristol Manor Farm flag which I still hold very close to me. The Flag will be taken to Thornhill Park and will be held in the highest regard. Everyone at Bristol Manor Farm offers Ukraine our support at this time.

Lee Lashenko

Bristol Manor Farm AFC Manager